Thursday, June 25, 2009

Weekend and Beyond: Bicycles, Festivals, Dedications

Festival season is officially here. The Works is considered the first big festival of summer, and it began last weekend. I dropped by to check out some of the art in Churchill Square and surrounding areas, as well as pay a visit to the art gallery to check out that 17 foot long baby. It was surreal - and extremely creepy. I also was amazed by the impressionist paintings of local artist Mary Joyce. Mary is one of our peace activists and I was thrilled to see her work in such a mainstream context as the AGA.

However, before I hit The Works, I rode downtown and cruised past some friends who were dropping their daughter off at the AGA for art lessons. We did breakfast at Timmy's and then I headed to the Bikeology festival for my volunteer position as official photographer/videographer. Bikeology is an annual celebration of the bicycle and the people who ride them. Here are the photos and this is a short video of some of the afternoon's highlights, like bike-powered smoothies, stunt riders, and live music.

After Bikeology it was a quick stop over to City Market, just a few blocks away, for a Fat Frank. Then to the Art Gallery and The Works. My breakfast friends Nick and Kylee and their kids were with me off and on for most of the day, as they were going around to the same events.

On Sunday, I attended a dedication ceremony for a Genocide Memorial Garden at the home of Rev. Audrey Brooks. Rev. Brooks is a Unitarian minister, Raging Granny, and good friend. She built a dry riverbed garden in front of her home and made it into a memorial garden for all victims of genocide. The dedication ceremony involved prayers, sacred readings, music, and people coming forward to place stones in the garden. On the stones we wrote the names of people, places, or events relating to genocide. After placing the stones, we spoke briefly about the significance of what we wrote. I placed a stone for the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, never to forget - which means not just remembering the victims, but to remember to espouse values of justice and compassion and peace towards all people, everywhere. Here are some photos and this is a 15 minute video.

I've been trying to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible, despite the ups and downs of the temperatures and the very high winds that have been kicking up. On Monday I went for a walk through Hawrelak Park with my friend Tim. We saw all Canada Geese of all ages, from tiny chicks to bigger goslings to full-sized mommies and daddies. We also saw goldeneyes, mallards, and other waterfowl. Nature and wildlife in the middle of a busy city. Take a look at the sheer cuteness of some of these pictures.

I have also been taking regular hikes down in the Buena Vista offleash area with Randy and Skooter. Skooter loves putting her head in the water, and then shaking it off -- usually on us. She will try to tear apart any large logs or tree trunks she finds. Being down by the river is just so serene. Here is a photo set from yesterday's walk.

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